The answer to the comparative fighting question is found in "The Pedophile Pirate" chapter of Prophet of Doom. Muhammad's 75 terrorist raids had nothing to do with religion; that is, apart from rewards that were used to solicit and inspire warriors. Let's examine some of what the Qur'an and Hadith have to say in this regard before we turn to the Bible.
|Ishaq:576||"Allah and Muhammad humiliated every coward and made our religion victorious. We were glorified and destroyed them all. By what our Apostle recites from the Book and by our swift horses, I liked the punishment the infidels received. Killing them was sweeter than drink. We galloped among them panting for the spoil. With our loud-voiced army, the Apostle's squadron advanced into the fray."|
|Tabari IX:69||"Arabs were the first to respond to the call of the Prophet. We are Allah's helpers and the viziers of His Messenger. We fight people until they believe in Allah. He who believes in Allah and His Messenger has protected his life and possessions from us. As for one who disbelieves, we will fight him forever in the Cause of Allah. Killing him is a small matter to us."|
|Muslim:C20B1N4597||"The Prophet said at the conquest of Mecca: 'There is no migration now, but only Jihad, fighting for the Cause of Islam. When you are asked to set out on a Jihad expedition, you should readily do so.'"|
|Qur'an 61:4||"Surely Allah loves those who fight in His Cause." |
|Ishaq:300||"I am fighting in Allah's service. This is piety and a good deed. In Allah's war I do not fear as others should. For this fighting is righteous, true, and good."|
|Bukhari:V4B52N63||"A man whose face was covered with an iron mask came to the Prophet and said, 'Allah's Apostle! Shall I fight or embrace Islam first?' The Prophet said, 'Embrace Islam first and then fight.' So he embraced Islam and was martyred. Allah's Apostle said, 'A Little work, but a great reward. '"|
|Bukhari:V4B53N386||"Our Prophet, the Messenger of our Lord, ordered us to fight you till you worship Allah alone or pay us the Jizyah tribute tax in submission. Our Prophet has informed us that our Lord says: 'Whoever amongst us is killed as a martyr shall go to Paradise to lead such a luxurious life as he has never seen, and whoever survives shall become your master.'"|
|Qur'an 47:4||"When you clash with the unbelieving Infidels in battle (fighting Jihad in Allah's Cause), smite their necks until you overpower them, killing and wounding many of them. At length, when you have thoroughly subdued them, bind them firmly, making (them) captives. Thereafter either generosity or ransom (them based upon what benefits Islam) until the war lays down its burdens. Thus are you commanded by Allah to continue carrying out Jihad against the unbelieving infidels until they submit to Islam."|
|Ishaq:315||"It was so criminal, men could hardly imagine it. Muhammad was ennobled because of the bloody fighting. I swear we shall never lack soldiers nor army leaders. Driving before us infidels until we subdue them with a halter above their noses and a branding iron. We will drive them to the ends of the earth. We will pursue them on horse and on foot. We will never deviate from fighting in our cause. Any people that disobey Muhammad will pay for it. If you do not surrender to Islam, then you will live to regret it. You will be shamed in Hell, forced to wear a garment of molten pitch forever!"|
|Ishaq:208||"When Allah gave permission to his Apostle to fight, the second Aqaba contained conditions involving war which were not in the first act of submission. Now we bound ourselves to war against all mankind for Allah and His Apostle. He promised us a reward in Paradise for faithful service. We pledged ourselves to war in complete obedience to Muhammad no matter how evil the circumstances."|
|Bukhari:V5B59N377||"A man came to the Prophet and said, 'Can you tell me where I will go if I get martyred?' The Prophet replied, 'To Paradise.' The man fought till he was martyred."|
Excerpts from Prophet of Doom
From chapter 13, "The Pedophile Pirate"
There are no such bargains in the Gospels. Killing is not an express ticket to heaven. Yahshua never asked his followers to "slay" anyone. The Messiah mentions killing only once. He tells a parable about a ruler in the final days of the Tribulation, to encourage Christians to be productive - not destructive.
In the Torah, Yahweh asked the Israelites to kill once, as well. He told Moses and Joshua to remove those poisoned by the Canaanite religion from the land. They were like Muhammad's Muslims: immoral, terrorizing, plundering, enslaving, and murdering. Their religion was as corrupt as Islam - equally demonic. Yahweh recognized it was more compassionate to exterminate some Canaanites than it was to allow them to seduce millions. He made the right call, but the Jews failed to execute his order.
Let's consider Yahweh's moral justification for fighting. Imagine that you were God and knew the thousand people most responsible for the September 11th suicide bombings. You know that they have been poisoned to believe that mass murder is a service to you. Left alone, they will corrupt and murder thousands. Would you kill them before they perpetrated these crimes or would you let them go ahead?
Now move back in time to the dawn of the 20th century. As usual, the world is full of bad people and bad ideas, but two doctrines are especially lethal - Communism and Nazism. Because you've read their maifestos and have maneuvered in time, you know what is going to happen. Within their first three decades, these dictatorial, intolerant, and violent dogmas will lead directly to the annihilation of over fifty million people and to the indoctrination of a billion more. Given the opportunity, would you exterminate a few thousand aspiring Communists and Nazis to save the lives of the fifty million their regimes butchered? Would you do it to save a billion people from being forced into submission - forced to live in civil, religious, intellectual, and economic poverty? Would you do it to keep them from growing strong enough to kill you, your neighbors, and your children? What is the most moral, just, and compassionate choice?
Perhaps now you know why Yahweh ordered his people to slay the practitioners of a doctrine virtually identical to Islam. But don't get carried away. His last command to kill was 3,200 years ago. His command wasn't open ended. It was directed at a specific group of people, in a specific time and specific place. Apart from self defense, that's the end of the story.
So, when you hear Muslims defend their violent doctrine, saying that the Bible is equally warlike, you'll know the truth. Yahweh asked once. He identified the reason and the people. The order wasn't open ended, either. And, even if it were, there are no Canaanites to kick around. What's more, the Jews were expressly forbidden from taking a spoil. When the walls of Jericho fell, its storehouses remained filled. Children were not sent off into slavery; women were not raped as if they were booty. The Judeo-Christian scriptures have to be corrupted to inspire such horrible acts.
Allah, by contrast, gave Muslims hundreds of commands to kill. His orders were open-ended - surviving throughout time. And his intended victims were many: those who worshiped the one true God, many gods, or no gods at all. Allah especially hated Christians and Jews, ordering Muslims to fight them until they were "wiped out to the last." This is fundamental Islam - the very core of Muhammad's message.
That said, there is one Bible verse that appears to be both open ended and to encourage violence. As such, Psalm 149 became the rallying cry for the Crusades. In actuality it is prophetic, speaking of what's called the "Tribulation," and of the return of the Messiah. In the fashion of Hebrew poetry, the Psalm presents a series of nine couplets - pairs of phrases that say the same thing in different words.
Let's review them. The first couplet speaks prophetically of the new millennium, of the church and saints: "Praise Yahweh. Sing unto Yahweh a fresh song, and sing his praise in the congregation of saints." The second celebrates the end of the Tribulation, and the Messiah's return: "Let Israel rejoice in Yahweh who made them, let the Children of Israel be joyful in their King." Then, "Let them praise Yahweh's character in dance, let them sing praises unto Yahweh with the tambourine and harp." Speaking of the Messiah's gift of salvation, the next reports: "For Yahweh is pleased with his people; He will glorify the meek with salvation." The fifth couplet reveals: "Let the saints be joyful in this glorious honor; let them shout from their resting place." At Christ's return the souls of the saints will be raised from their graves.
A Catholic Pope misinterpreted the sixth verse to advance his personal agenda: "Let the exaltation of the Almighty be in their mouths, and a two-edged sword be in their open hand." A two-edged sword is the Bible's metaphor for divine judgment or rendering a godly verdict. That's why it's in an "open hand," which could not wield an instrument of violence. Its pair in the couplet references the exalted words of the Almighty suggesting an oral verdict, not a slashing weapon. The seventh pair proclaims: "To advance vengeance upon the nations and punishment upon the people." This speaks to the final judgment of Yahweh on those who attack Israel during World War III, midway through the Tribulation. Interesting, in that the predicted Magog war against Israel is perpetrated entirely by Islamic states.
This is followed by: "To yoke kings together, bringing them forth, and those who are severe will be tied with iron twine." In other words, following God's verdict, the purveyors of false doctrines, those who are severe, will be restrained. The final couplet reveals: "To advance the verdict upon them, prescribed by the splendor of his saints. Praise Yahweh." The entire Psalm is prophetic, speaking of the final judgment of nations following the Messiah's return in power and glory. There is no command to fight or kill anyone.
Since Islam's principle defense is to claim that Christians have performed no better, especially during the Crusades, I want to bring your attention to two incredibly important historical facts. First, Pope Benedict IV: he reigned in 1033 A.D., precisely 1,000 years after Christ's resurrection. Benedict became like Muhammad, demonic, fixated on the occult, demented, delirious, and lascivious. The Church became corrupt, fixated on rituals, suppression, and money. With power-hungry men at the helm, it splintered, ultimately causing cleric and king to send men off on fool-hearty crusades.
The second historical fact is that the Crusaders weren't Christians. They couldn't have been. Four centuries had passed since the last sermon was given in a language common to the people of Europe. The first Bible to be printed in the vulgar tongue, John Wycliffe's, wouldn't find quill for another four centuries. To be a "Christian" one must know Christ. He could not have been known to the men who fought. They carried his symbols, nothing more.
Can you explain why these violent and intolerant verses are in Deuteronomy?
Unlike Islam there is no open order to kill in the Bible.
Yahweh only instructed his people to fight during a 60 year period of the 6000 chronicled and predicted in the Bible. The villain was always the same-those who practiced and promoted the Canaanite religion in the tiny sliver of land He gave the Jews. He knew that if they continued, they would poison and damn their subjects - millions of them. And they would in turn terrorize and destroy the people He chose for His revelation. It was actually the most compassionate thing to do. Had the Jews done what they were told, it would have been like killing the first 250,000 Nazis to keep them from starting a war that would kill 50 million.
I realize that you're more of an expert in this matter than I am but there are some troubling things in Deuteronomy which definitely seem harsh:
7.5: But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire.
Yep, that's exactly what Yahweh wants done to false gods and to the assets that are used to promote them. That isn't troubling at all.
7.16: And thou shalt consume all the people which the LORD thy God shall deliver thee; thine eye shall have no pity upon them...
It's the most compassionate thing that could be done. I explained this in the book. Yahweh knew what would happen if the people who had been poisoned with the Canaanite religion continued to indoctrinate others. If the thousands of souls whose choices had already damned them had not been eliminated, they would have damned millions who would have terrorized and plundered millions more.
Being God has its advantages. He knows the future. He knows the consequence of things. In this case His command was no different that killing the first 250,000 Nazis to prevent the senseless slaughter of 50 million people.
12.30: Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise.
This verse explains what I just told you. The reason for eliminating the people who were promoting the Canaanite religion was so that Yahweh's chosen people wouldn't be snared by their deception-deceptions that would lead to the death and damnation of millions. Yahweh is telling the Yahudis that the practitioners of the Canaanite religion are being killed so that there will be no remnant of the deception.
If the Jews in Yathrib had done this to Muhammad and his followers in accordance with Deuteronomy 18, countless millions of lives would have been saved.
17.2 If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the LORD thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the LORD thy God, in transgressing his covenant,
Again, Yahweh is explaining the consequence of false religions. Yahweh views these things as an intolerable wickedness because they more than anything else, separate man from Him.
17.3 And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded;
This is sound teaching. The Canaanites, like the Babylonians and Egyptians, had turned the sun and moon into gods. Baal was their sun god-consistent with all bull images. During the vernal equinox, the sun crosses the earth in equal segments of day and night and it is located at the time in the constellation of Taurus-the bull. The sun is considered to have impregnated mother earth at Ishtar-Easter. The sun god is born 9 months later at the winter solstice-the holiday misguided Christians errantly celebrate as Christmas. False teachings, false prophets, false gods, false religions lead us astray and separate us from Yahweh. He considers that bad.
17.4 And it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and enquired diligently, and, behold, it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel:
All forms of deception are considered an abomination to Yahweh. That is why Yahweh sees Easter and Christmas as an abomination. The festival celebrating His sacrifice is Passover. Yahshua was born at the Feast of the Tabernacles. They are profoundly symbolic of His mission and plan. But by accepting pagan concepts, incorporating them, we miss the significance. That is an abomination.
17.5 Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die.
False teaching, false religions, false rituals, false doctrines, false prophets and false gods are eternally lethal. Stoning those who would perpetuate such lies so as to preclude the truth from being known, especially among the people and in the place Yahweh chose to reveal His Scriptures has saved countless souls from eternal separation from Him. And having studied a similar poison-Islam-I can attest that women and youth are the most corrupt, the most responsible, the most willing to deceive and to poison. Stoning those who had been poisoned by the ultimate deception of that day, in that place, was the ultimate act of compassion.
I think carrying out these instructions against some person or group simply because they believe differently is pretty extreme.
It's good you are not God. If you were, all would be lost and we would have destroyed the world long ago.